2019 World Superbikes
Round 13 – Motul Qatar Round
The final of the 2019 World Superbike Championship wrapped up in Qatar with the big question on everyone’s lips answered as Randy Krummenacher took the World Supersport Championship title for Yamaha.
In World Superbikes already crowned World Champion Jonathan Rea took no prisoners, winning all three races of the weekend and relegating the Ducati and Yamaha riders to the lower steps of the podium. After taking pole position and winning Race 1 on Friday, Saturday saw the Northern Irishman make no mistakes and triumph in both the Tissot Superpole Race and in Race 2.
It was his second win of the WorldSSP300 season for Dutchman Scott Deroue while newly crowned World Champion Manuel Gonzalez finished fourth.
In the Tissot Superpole Race, Jonathan Rea took his second victory of the weekend. Starting from pole position, the Northern Irishman maintained the race lead from flag to flag ahead of Spaniard Álvaro Bautista who, after overtaking Alex Lowes on the second lap, maintained second for the rest of the race.
The third step of the podium went to Yamaha rider Alex Lowes, who managed to stay ahead of the other Kawasaki rider, Leon Haslam.
Michael Van Der Mark, Loris Baz and Chaz Davies each took a turn in fifth, but at the end of the day it was the Welshman who came out on top.
In Race 2, reigning Rea got off the line well when the red lights went out, but Bautista was aggressive straight away, trying to make life difficult for the Northern Irishman from the first lap.
The champion and runner-up set an unsustainable race pace for the group of followers, led by the other Ducati rider, Chaz Davies, who did the race fast lap on the fourth lap.
On the eighth lap, Rea, Bautista and Davies were within just over half a second of one another, forming a compact leading trio.
Early in the tenth lap Bautista had a go at overtaking Rea on the finishing straight, but the Northern Irishman was able to fend off the Spaniard’s attack and in the meantime, Chaz Davies had closed the gap and caught up with his teammate.
In the final part of the race, Jonathan Rea managed to pull the pin and open up a gap ahead of the Ducati riders, taking his advantage to more than two seconds while Chaz Davies gained the upper hand against his teammate on the fourteenth lap, moving into second place.
Jonathan Rea finished first under the chequered flag for the third time over the weekend ahead of Chaz Davies and Álvaro Bautista.
Fourth place went to Alex Lowes with Toprak Razgatlioglu, fifth, finishing as the best independent team rider.
WorldSBK riders talk the season final
Jonathan Rea – P1 Overall
“Seventeen race wins this year and two triples – Donington and here – so this is special, super-special. I am really happy and content because to be honest we never expected to get beaten so bad in the beginning. Even in the middle of the season we knew we needed to enter these last two rounds with a gap in the championship to fight for it, but what we expected we didn’t find. I am really happy with the package of our bike because in these last two races, with the longest straights in the championship, and the fastest circuits, we have proved that you need more than a fast engine to win. I am super-proud of all my team. This weekend we changed the base set-up so many times, from Race One to Superpole to Race Two; you would not believe me is I told you what we did. We turned the bike upside down and each and every time we had some positives and negatives, so it just shows our bike is working inside a good window.”
Álvaro Bautista – P2 Overall
“Today was a positive day, because after the warm-up and before the Superpole race, we returned to the set-up we had on Friday. I immediately had a good feeling and the second place was important for the starting-grid in race 2. In the early stages I battled with Jonathan but unfortunately, about half-way through the race, I began to lose grip at the rear and I was struggling to stop the bike. In the end I couldn’t do anything about Chaz, but all things considered I’m happy, it’s always nice to finish the season on the podium. I’d like to thank Aruba and all the Ducati squad for doing a fantastic job this year. Unfortunately, the season didn’t go the way we hoped, but I’m very pleased to have begun my first year in Superbike with this team because they have so much experience in this championship and they helped me a lot. Thanks to everyone, I wish you all the best for next year.”
Alex Lowes – P3 Overall
“It was good to end the season with a strong weekend here in Qatar but, apart from one bad weekend in Jerez and the crash while leading in Misano, I’ve been up there in the top-six and really strong in every race. The target this year was to finish top-three in the championship; obviously everyone wants to be world champion, but you’ve got to improve on what you did the year before, keep learning, keep moving forward and this year was a good step forward for me. It’s a bittersweet end to the season because I’m leaving a team that has such a great atmosphere, with whom I get on really well and in which I feel a part of the family. It’s strange to be leaving both Crescent and Yamaha, we’ll all face new challenges next season, but tonight I’m going to enjoy it, together with the guys who’ve worked so hard for me and helped me achieve my goal this season.”
Michael van der Mark – P4 Overall
“We made some changes to the set up ahead of Race 2 this evening and I felt a lot better at the beginning compared to the Superpole race in the afternoon. Unfortunately, once the tyres started to drop off then I struggled like before. I tried everything to stay in front of Alex, but it just wasn’t possible because I was struggling with the grip so much. Anyway, I think if we look back on this season we should be satisfied. The Misano injury put us on the back foot, missing that whole event and then riding injured at the following two rounds, but we never gave up and we never stopped trying. To finish fourth in the championship isn’t what we were looking for but, given the obstacles we’ve faced this season, it’s still pretty incredible. Big credit to the team and to Yamaha, unfortunately this wasn’t our weekend but I’m confident we’ll be back stronger next year.”
Chaz Davies – P6 Overall
“It’s been a strong end to the season for me and I’m really happy to finish on the podium again. I felt like I put together another good race this evening after a bad start, but it was good fun to battle with the others in the early laps. I got into a good pace and started charging towards the guys up front. After I passed Álvaro, it was quite easy to follow Johnny but then when I pushed a bit more, I was in trouble with the front tyre. All in all, it was a good finish to 2019 and I can’t wait for 2020 to start”.
It was a positive debut season for the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK team, claiming four podiums, one pole position and numerous top six finishes. Sykes finished the season eighth in the riders’ standings on 223 points, while Reiterberger claimed 14th place overall.
Tom Sykes – P8 Overall
“It’s not the way I would have liked to end the season given the results that we have had previously. We have arrived at a circuit where you are in the corner for a long time which is an area on the bike that we need to work on, so overall a very disappointing weekend to end 2019. On the whole, the new project finishing eighth in the championship is relatively good considering there are six factory bikes from different manufacturers with a lot more experience. We have had some very strong showings, we have shown the potential of the BMW S 1000 RR and the relationship with the new team has worked well. Going into the winter I would like to think that the information the team gathered can be put into development and ultimately a better starting point for next season.”
World Superbike Standings
|4||Michael Van Der Mark||Yamaha||327|
|13||Michael Ruben Rinaldi||Ducati||122|
Tissot Superpole Race Results
|6||M. VAN DER MARK||NED||Yamaha||9.744|
Race 2 Results
|7||M. VAN DER MARK||NED||Yamaha||15.625|
At 5:15 in the afternoon local time, the most anxiously awaited race of the weekend started, namely the FIM Supersport World Championship race, fundamental in deciding the Championship winner.
After taking Superpole on Friday, Federico Caricasulo started from pole position, but he was unable to be incisive at the start. On the other hand, Jules Cluzel started very well, keenly aware that in order to win the title, he would need to win the race and hope for poor performance from the Italian and from Swiss rider Randy Krummenacher.
The latter, however, had the luxury of being able to ride a conservative race, finding himself on the grid with an eight-point advantage over teammate Caricasulo and 22 points ahead of Frenchman Cluzel.
Cluzel stayed in the lead until just past the mid-race point when he was forced to yield his position, first to former world champion Lucas Mahias and later to Isaac Viñales.
In the meantime, Caricasulo moved into fifth position and Krummenacher followed him in sixth, while Corentin Perolari was ahead of them in fourth place.
Cluzel and Viñales battled it out for second place, with the Frenchman gaining the upper hand in the end.
During the twelfth lap, Caricasulo managed to get past Perolari, while Krummenacher remained in sixth position, bolstered by the advantage of being able to manage his Championship points lead.
On the thirteenth lap, Krummenacher also managed to overtake Perolari for fifth, but shortly thereafter, the Frenchman got past him again.
Lucas Mahias went on to win the race ahead of Jules Cluzel, second, and Isaac Viñales. With his fifth-place finish, Randy Krummenacher was crowned 2019 FIM Supersport World Champion.
Lucas Mahias – Race Winner
“A very good race and I was pushing for the victory. At the beginning it was difficult and I knew I had a better rhythm compared to Jules Cluzel but Corentin Perolari was very hard to overtake. That was difficult. I lost a lot of energy for three laps, because baking hard is not my natural style. When I took first position I had one strategy and that was to push hard so that no other rider could overtake me in the slipstream. I looked back, nobody overtook me and then in the second lap in the lead I pushed very hard again and got a gap of 0.8 seconds. Then I managed the lead. I did not sleep last night because I am not in good condition. I have a stomach problem. I did not eat before the race and in the hot conditions, when I was not feeling 100%, I think I lost a lot of water from my body. But it is OK because we finished the season with a victory.”
Randy Krummenacher – 2019 WSSP Champ
“It’s an incredible feeling to be world champion, after working towards this moment for the past 24 years. I can’t really take it in at the moment, but I’m so thankful to everyone who helped me to get to where I am today, especially my family, who supported me every day and gave me the power to achieve my goal. Today it was a very tough race. After the warm-up I thought I could win today, but in the race, I felt completely different on the bike and I had to fight. The last laps the feeling was very strong that I was about to win the championship, which was also pretty stressful, which meant I wasn’t as fast as I could have been in the closing stages!”
Federico Caricasulo – 2019 Runner Up
“After the good job we’ve done the last two days, today I thought we could win the final race of the season, but it wasn’t to be. I was fast and my rhythm was good, but from the first lap I had no engine braking at all. This made it impossible for me to ride the bike like in practice; I tried to do everything I could, but it was impossible. I’m really disappointed because today could have been very different. We had the potential to battle for the win, that is clear, but it proved impossible.”
World Supersport Standings Top 10
|6||Raffaele De Rosa||MVAgusta||101|
WSSP Race Results – Top 10
|7||R. DE ROSA||ITA||MV Agusta||9.527|
Blasting into action when the lights went out, Australian Tom Edwards hit the front ahead of Ana Carrasco, whilst Bruno Ieraci and Scott Deroue were right together, making for an interesting battle for second overall in the Championship. However, a collision towards the end of the lap with Ieraci at Turn 13 saw her drop back to eighth.
However, the 2018 WorldSSP300 Champion was not out of race-winning contention, as she hit the front on Lap 3, just a lap after setting the fastest lap of the race. However, her main title adversary, Scott Deroue, was up in third. 2019 Champion Manuel Gonzalez was second and split the second and third in the Championship, whilst his teammate, Tom Edwards, had been dropped down to ninth. At the end of Lap 4, Carrasco led Gonzalez, Ieraci, Garcia and Deroue – the Dutchman getting picked off for third at the final corner. Koen Meuffels completed the top six.
With five laps remaining, Deroue hit the front from Manuel Gonzalez, with the top seven riders all on Kawasaki machinery. At the back of the eight-rider group, it was Indonesian rider Galang Hendra Pratama on a Yamaha. At the start of Lap 7, Koen Meuffels made his move to the front of the field, although it was short-lived with Ana Carrasco responding at Turn 4.
With the penultimate lap upon the WorldSSP300 class, Scott Deroue was back in the lead of the race, taking it from Ana Carrasco at Turn 12 with three laps to go. The last 10.6km would be a thrilling spectacle, as Bruno Ieraci now made his way to the front, soon being passed by Meuffels and Deroue, with a Dutch 1-2 now looking a real possibility. Carrasco was down in fourth, meaning that provisionally, Deroue would be second in the Championship.
Last lap time and 2018 MotorLand Aragon race winner Koen Meuffels was leading the way and had a small gap to those behind him, with the second place in the Championship about to be decided. In the final half a lap, Deroue closed in on his teammate Meuffels and on the run to the line, Deroue nabbed the victory by just 0.010 from Meuffels, making it a Kawasaki MOTOPORT 1-2.
Bruno Ieraci, Gonzalez and Carrasco were right in behind, with Ieraci taking his career first podium, whilst Tom Edwards was a solid sixth. This result meant that Deroue took second in the title ahead of Carrasco, whilst Gonzalez was already confirmed as Champion in France. Hendra Pratama was seventh as Marc Garcia crashed out on the final lap. Andy Verdoïa was ahead of Hugo De Cancellis and Dion Otten.
Scott Deroue – Race Winner (Second Overall)
“I was quite nervous before the race because Ana was so fast the whole weekend long. I did not have her pace. But in warm-up we made a step forward with the front because we had struggled with chatter in some corners. When we made the step I thought, ‘OK, maybe we are ready for the race’. But still it was hard. Sometimes Ana had a gap but I just pushed, and pushed and it worked out. It was a very difficult race because there were so many overtakes and it was hard in the heat and everything to keep your concentration. But in the last lap I knew it needed to happen. Koen had a gap and Ana was in front of me. I overtook her and some others but there was still a gap to Koen. I had to push again and it worked out, because I overtook him on the finish line. Second in the championship is like a dream come true. Two times I have been third so to finish second in really good.”
Ana Carrasco – P3 Overall
“Overall, it has been a positive weekend, where we have been competitive since day one. It was a shame to finish off the podium because I had pace and I felt good to fight for the victory, but it was a difficult race with the group and I had several things that made it very difficult for me to get in a good position in the last turns. Even so, we have achieved third position in the championship. I think that both the Kawasaki Provec WorldSSP300 and I have improved a lot during the season and we are happy with our performance. I want to thank the team, Kawasaki and all the sponsors for supporting me in what I think has been the best season of my sports career.”
World Supersport 300 Standings
|7||Galang Hendra Pratama||Yamaha||64|
|9||Hugo De Cancellis||Yamaha||54|
|…34||Joel Damon Kelso||Kawasaki||4|
World Supersport 300 Race Results
|7||G. HENDRA PRATAMA||INA||Yamaha||1.84|
|9||H. DE CANCELLIS||FRA||Yamaha||8.639|
|13||S. DI SORA||FRA||Kawasaki||19.481|
|20||M. FAEROZI T.||INA||Yamaha||40.118|